The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the proposal to include 15 new castes and modify provisions for 13 other castes in the Central list of Other Backward Classes, reported PTI. The National Commission of Backward Classes had recommended 28 changes – 15 new entries, nine synonyms or sub-castes of castes already listed and four corrections - for Assam, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

“The changes will enable the persons belonging to these castes/communities to avail of the benefits of reservation in government services and posts as well as in central educational institutions as per the existing policy,” read an official statement. Members of these communities will also get benefits under the Centre’s various welfare schemes and scholarships.

The NCBC’s advice is binding on the government unless the Centre sees strong reasons to reject it. The NCBC studies requests for inclusion in the backward castes list and also addresses complaints.